Alejandro Villanueva A truly courageous man

Villanueva was born on Naval Air Station Meridian in Meridian, Mississippi to Spanish nationals Ignacio Villanueva, a Spanish Naval officer who worked for NATO, and Matilda Martin. Both his mother and father are over 6 feet all. Alejandro was the eldest of the family's four children, including siblings Paloma, IƱaki and Carmen. It was while he was attending SHAPE High School in Casteau, Belgium that he was recruited to play American football. He committed to West Point in 2006 and played 3 different positions over this time.

College and Military Career

In his stay at West Point, he proved himself on the gridiron and in the classroom. He graduated near the top of his class with a bachelor's degree in business. Since he went to a military school, he has serve at least 5 years in the military and spend an extra 3 years in the reserves. He has served his 5 years with courage, and is in his second year of the reserves.


During his term, he achieved the rank of captain in both of his units, the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Infantry Division. He served in the War in Afghanistan and was a member of the first response team. He received many U.S. military awards and decorations.

After Military Retirement

Villanueva has had a very unique journey after returning from his stints in Afghanistan. He tried out for the Philadelphia Eagles, but only made the practice squad. The Pittsburgh Steelers gave him a chance, and he got pulled up to the team when they had an injury at his position. He outworked and outperformed his teammate and won the starting job. He's now considered one of the best tackles in the NFL.


Through all this he has stayed connected to his faith. He is a devoted Christian and openly expresses his love for the Lord. He had a rough journey to get where he is now, but he never backed down. From the battlefield to the gridiron, he's a warrior and a very courageous man.

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